Have you ever dreamed of being a campsite expert? The kind of person you knows how to build the best fire, make the best food and setup a tent with ease?
We can't help you gain all the skills. But we can help you gain four new ones—with these essential camping hacks:
1. Build Your Own Repair Kit
What would you do if your gear failed two days' hike from the car? When preparing for a trip, ensure you have: an extra set of laces for your footwear (imagine hiking out with no laces); a zipper repair kit (turns an emergency into an inconvenience); fabric repair tape (nylon-specific for tents and jackets, or duct tape if you’re not picky); extra batteries for any device that needs them (headlamps, flashlights, satellite communicators); at least five metres of 550 paracord (multipurpose); and at least the same of baling wire (because between that and duct tape, you can fix just about anything).
2. Hand Sanitizer for the Win
A travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer is non-negotiable. Some evidence suggests it’s often bacteria from dirty hands that's the suspect in campsite tummy-troubles, not wilderness bugs like giardia. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer after every toilet break and before every meal or snack. But that’s not the only reason to bring it—it doubles as fire starter and even a topical antiseptic for wounds in a pinch (though it hurts like heck).
3. Good Mornings Make Great Days
Even the most diehard campers lament chilly mornings, when we loathe the idea of emerging from a cozy sleeping bag and into the wet air. Make it easier. Stuff a fleece, warm pants and even a toque, gloves and a puffy—if it’s really cold—into the foot of your sleeping bag. Now you’ll have toasty warm clothing to slip on come corning, turning your wakeup from dreadful to dreamy. (Pros can do the costume change before they even get out of the bag.)
4. DIY Lantern
Up late chitchatting or reading past the witching hour? Turn any transparent or semi-transparent water container (Nalgene or a water/milk jug, for example) into a lantern—in seconds. Just fill the container with water and loop your headlamp around it, with the light shining inwards. The water diffuses the beam and fills your tent with ethereal luminescence.
OK—now go camping! Need some gear? We can help with that too.